General Question

nebule's avatar

Have you ever felt the need to cut yourself off from everyone around you before?

Asked by nebule (16107 points ) September 10th, 2012

I’m going through a difficult time at the moment and I don’t think certain people are helping me at all. So, I have this thought that maybe I should just avoid people, try to create some space where I can actually hear my own voice, rather than listening to all the judgement that is flying around.

Has anyone else had this feeling before? And did you follow through with it? I mean, closing down twitter, facebook, but also saying to people, I just need some space for a bit… I might not be at family meetings, get togethers etc.

I’m not sure if this is exactly the wrong thing to be doing right now, but I can’t seem to think clearly at all… and I’m trying to heal myself but I just end up in a loop of guilt, shame, fear and loneliness and trying to figure out the best way to get out of it.

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17 Answers

cookieman's avatar

Yes, after my father died. I felt a very strong desire to get away from everything. I even mentioned it on Fluther. My wife and friends encouraged me to do it, but I never did. Sadly, I’m too attuned to my responsibilities and never “found the right time” – which is bull. I just felt guilty.

I think it’s a good idea from time to time. Since then, I’ve gotten off Facebook, removed certain people from my life, and taken little mental health breaks. House cleaning as it were.

wonderingwhy's avatar

All the time. But then I’m an misanthropic introvert who can count on one hand the number of people whose opinions would even remotely factor into what you’re describing; so it’s not like it’s an effort for me.

Honestly, knowing where you stand can be very empowering whereas acting out of “guilt, shame, fear, and loneliness” often just tends to reinforce those feelings. Take some time and get your feet under you then move from a position of knowledge and purpose rather than confusion and reaction. The people that matter will understand.

lookingglassx3's avatar

Yes, I’m going through this at the moment. My maternal grandad has just unexpectedly died and my paternal grandmother is in the final stages of cancer. I’ve dropped out of college to deal with my emotions.

I think this is something you need to do. Please don’t feel guilty for not going to family get-togethers, etc. Your personal time and space and more importantly your emotional wellbeing is of greater importance than any judgement or pressure you may face from friends or family.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I don’t know your situation well and can’t advise you. Rather, I will speak in the first person and tell you how I handle it.

I try not to burn bridges I never know when I might need to cross them again. However, I do occasionally open the drawbridge to prevent traffic from reaching me. I have not used FB in a long time and that was to defriend and block people who were sending me junk. I have a twitter account but only used it a couple of times to see if it worked. I follow nobody and nobody follows me.
I do not tell people that I have made a change. That only draws attention to it and prompts them to either argue or give advice – none of which I need or want. I just do it at my own pace.
I hate the telephone. Every time it rings it is somebody asking me for something. It is never someone offering to help me. I let it go to VoiceMail a lot. That has helped.

I am not able to just run and hide. I am too connected in the real world and have too many responsibilities. Sometimes I wish I could…

I’ve found that when faced with a distasteful task, I often hide here.

Coloma's avatar

Yes. I went on a two year sabbatical from life back around 2006–2008 or so. I let go of about 5 old friends over a few year period, moved to my new house in the hills and only worked part time while I went through some major personal growth shifts. There are reasons and seasons for everything and there is no shame in taking space and you do not owe anyone an explanation!

I found the time by myself was invaluable for my growth and evolution and I continue to be very discriminating about who I choose to give my time and energy to.
I think everyone needs to go on a major checkout once or twice in life,it is good for the soul!

geeky_mama's avatar

I have been tempted, at times, to do a solitary retreat to spend some time in contemplation and reflection (less a religious focus, more for personal introspection).
At least for me (because I am an introvert by nature) my preferred way of dealing with big life changes or difficult times is to distance myself from others and process it on my own.

As a mom to (somewhat) young kids distancing myself for some introspection/solitary retreat isn’t entirely realistic for me at this stage—but at a younger age I did this once before..and once my kids are grown I might well do this again.

flutherother's avatar

Sometimes you have to be alone to take stock and allow yourself to heal but then at other times you need people to confide in and share the burdens of life. I wouldn’t burn any bridges. You don’t have to close your Facebook account for example, just don’t use it. Do you have to say to people in advance that you might not make it to social events? Why not just take each one as it comes and make such excuses as you see fit.

” If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I?”

nebule's avatar

Thank you all for your awesome responses…I am still digesting them :-) xxx

KNOWITALL's avatar

Absolutely, I was in my early 20’s and was slightly abused in a relationship. I felt humiliated, degraded and like I needed to heal. I wrote in my journal, I learned a little Cherokee, and basically worked on loving and forgiving myself. It’s a good thing and space is good, too, just try not to alienate your family and friends, I’d say keep fb and give yourself a time frame, like I will not wallow any longer than 3 months, something like that….good luck.

tups's avatar

I think about that all the time. Sometimes I feel trapped by all these people. I want freedom, but I don’t know what it is. Everybody is going to say different things and they are all sure of what they are saying. Try to not mind what society thinks. If you need space, take space.

Ponderer983's avatar

Yup, after my Father died. After all the hoopla of him dying, I needed time to myself to be a little depressed and process everything. I deactivated my Facebook account and told the friends that I see most often that I needed time to myself and that eventually I would come back around. They respected it, and when I was feeling more back to normal, I started back up again.

It’s better to tell people outright that you need space instead of them wondering if you hate them. I know if I kept blowing off my friends without an explanation, they would eventually get angry. But being upfront with them saved the friendships. And those friends should understand that sometimes, you just need to get away from it all and not take it personally.

augustlan's avatar

I’m sorry you’re having a rough time, girlie. <3

Time to yourself is a wonderful thing sometimes, and can be very healing. A few times a year, I have what I call a ‘full wallow’, where I know in advance that I’m going to be a hermit, eat all my favorite comfort foods, do nothing productive whatsoever, and really feel my sadness. Often just for a weekend. Sometimes that’s enough to get me over the hump and ready to face the world again.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Augustian Exactly what I was thinking. That’s why I thought a time limit may help the first time or two so it doesn’t turn into depression or anything negative. You described it perfectly! When I need to cry I even read the obituaries and cry for people I don’t know…I’m weird and it’s hard for me to cry sometimes.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@KNOWITALL , @augustlan If you need a good cry listen to NPR’s StoryCorps. There is a NPR channel on Vimeo. It only takes 2 or 3 stories to turn me into half a basket case.

I listened to 2 stories the other night. A couple in their early 50’s both working in NYC He would drop her off at her subway stop one station from where he worked. She worked on the 114?th floor of the WTC and he could see it. Oh my…

The other story was how immigrants had their names changed. I need to stop eating soy and get back to eating raw meat. . Maybe we all do.

snapdragon24's avatar

Everyone needs some space an time to heal and think things through… and people dont have to know about it. Use that time and privacy to see who is worth your time or not. Also those who you choose to cut off…if you dont hear from them..then you did the right thing.

melly666's avatar

Momentarily cut yourself off from everyone or for good? It may be just a passing thing at the moment to ‘clear your head’....I call it ‘head space’... I do this every year for a few months of the year or I crack but am now thinking of cutting everybody I know off for good and starting again…which is more difficult at nearly 50 like myself. I totally understand people who do this…. maybe in your case though you may just be desperately needing a break/holiday on your own. It’ll do you the world of good to sort your thoughts out…

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